Integrating Territorial Defence Forces into National Resistance Efforts: Lessons of the Polish Home Army's role within the World War II Polish Underground State and the Post-War Polish Independence Underground
In preparation for gray zone or conventional warfare conducted by Russian or Chinese adversaries and their proxies, threatened nations can apply a Total Defense approach to safeguard their territorial integrity and political sovereignty. Two key components for any effective Total Defense concept are national special operations forces (SOF) and volunteer, citizen-soldier territorial defense forces (TDF). This article examines the role of special operations forces as significant multi-dimensional, entrepreneurial integrators in Total Defense. In particular, it demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between special operations and territorial defense forces in the complex mission of national resistance during crisis and occupation.
Russia’s aggressive actions in the vicinity of the borders of the Baltic states have stirred the discussion on the Comprehensive defense concept. This concept is based on whole-of-government and whole-of-society involvement in resistance against occupying power. This article examines the role of the armed forces in the resistance movement from a small state perspective. To define the role of the armed forces, this article scrutinizes the historical experience of the Latvian Forest Brothers and the traditional development phases of the resistance movement. The article argues that the armed forces must form the backbone of the armed resistance, which integrates the other security forces and the civilian population into the national level resistance movement.
The paper aims to contribute to discussion on comprehensive defence development by looking into Resistance Operating Concept and Comprehensive Defence Handbook. These two documents are designed as a guide for the countries facing a formidable adversary to help them develop resistance (including violent) infrastructure before the potential invasion. After discussing the main tenets of the concept and suggesting a wider engagement with case studies and scientific literature on this and similar topics, the paper addresses the pitfalls and considerations of preparing such resistance in peacetime, focusing on five areas: C2, legitimacy, recruitment, potential problems in long-term and communication.
This article explores how comprehensive defence has been introduced in Latvia, and focuses on society’s involvement and tasks in the state defence. This approach envisages a significant change in society’s relationship with the armed forces and state defence. Differently from many other countries, Latvia maintains its system without introducing conscription and instead puts efforts towards youth education in defence. Additionally, the Ministry of Defence involves different society groups and NGOs in defining their role in state defence. This article also discusses the concepts of resistance and non-collaboration as part of comprehensive defence.